The olecranon is an integral part of the elbow and is found at the tip, as identified by its pointy shape. It is covered by the bursa, a sack of fluid that separates it from the skin. That way, the skin can naturally move around the bone. If healthy, the bursa sack stays relatively intact with a minimum amount of fluid on the inside. If the bursa becomes irritated, it may appear swollen or inflamed and can develop fluid accumulation. In such cases, pain, as well as weakness, may occur.
Swelling is a common symptom of most types of bursitis, including olecranon bursitis. This symptom can indicate that the bursa sack has become irritated. Even though swelling isn’t usually noticed during its initial stages, it can cause pain or discomfort over time. If the bursa becomes infected, some symptoms may develop in the affected area including warmth and redness. If you develop a fever, consult your doctor to prevent the condition from worsening. Afterward, you can begin treatment, which is mainly aimed at alleviating side effects as well as speeding the recovery process.
Another easy to spot symptom of this type of bursitis is a rounded appearance around the elbow. Often, olecranon bursitis will not show any visible symptoms, but in more severe cases you may notice the swelling create a visible deformation. If you suspect bursitis, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor. He or she will most likely order an x-ray which can help to detect issues in the bones. Moreover, a blood test may be necessary to look for signs of infection. If a significant amount of fluid is found, draining excess fluid may be a good idea.
Luckily, most people affected by bursitis don’t feel pain, at least not intense pain. However, some people do notice mild levels of pain. You can observe discomfort if you place your elbow in a particular position, or if you apply pressure over the affected area. Leaning in a particular position can also contribute to increased pain levels. There are different types of bursitis depending on if the area is infected or not. Every kind of bursitis has its treatments, which may include over the counter drugs or different elbow wraps. Talk to your doctor before attempting any home treatments.
The elbow may develop a slightly red coloration as a result of the irritation. The bursitis sack - when irritated and inflamed - may grow in size and cause the color of the skin to change in appearance. Tenderness can accompany this, and in some cases, a fever may occur. Carefully follow your symptoms to make sure that an adequate rate of healing occurs. Often, an infection can find its way into the skin. This can happen if a cut or an opening is left untreated around the area of the elbow.
Pus may suddenly drain out of the infected bursa. This is a possible symptom of olecranon bursitis. In some instances, a severe infection may occur, which may lead to a buildup of pus and other material inside the bursa. If it bursts, you may see drainage around the affected area. When an infection occurs, other symptoms also appear, including warmness and tenderness. If inflammation is severe, then you may notice a reduced extent of motion, making it difficult to position the arm in specific ways. Consult your doctor if you notice any symptoms.
Because Ocleracoron bursitis is often mild, intensive treatments will not be necessary in most cases. However, this depends on each person, so it’s essential to get your elbow inspected by your doctor. If you experience lenient symptoms, such as light swelling or mild irritation, then your symptoms will likely clear up by themselves. However, if you have a significant development of fluid, then your symptoms might require more treatment. For mild cases, plenty of rest, as well as a close follow-up, are key. If symptoms worsen, contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Anti-inflammatory medication is often taken by people who develop bursitis in the elbow. This group of medicines works by bringing the inflammation down and thus helping to alleviate discomfort and other symptoms. Many are available over-the-counter. Before taking such medication, you should consult your doctor to ensure that they are suitable for you. Most NSAIDs work by impeding the production of natural substances that cause swelling, thus displaying pain and other complications. Fevers can also be treated with NSAIDs.
Besides anti-inflammatory medication and rest, a steroid injection may come in handy when it comes to treating bursitis. This treatment doesn’t work for everyone. In fact, in most cases, it is not even necessary because symptoms tend to resolve by themselves. In any case, ask your doctor to see if steroid injections are propitious for you. Vaccinations can help to target the most difficult symptoms, especially swelling and inflammation. The improvement may take some time to become visible, and the injection may cause some patients to feel discomfort or pain for a short period.
Aspiration, which is more commonly referred to as draining the fluid from the affected area, may be a potent and easy way of treating bursitis and is carried out by a trained professional using a needle. If a considerable amount of fluid troubles the elbow, then a syringe may be more convenient. In some cases, fluid buildup can occur after being drained, so it is highly recommendable to apply a pressure bandage over the affected area to prevent recurring symptoms. If aspiration fails to treat your symptoms, surgery may be necessary.
In some challenging cases where other treatments have not worked, surgery may be necessary to address symptoms. Surgery often works by thoroughly removing the bursa. If you have an infected bursa that does not respond to antibiotics, then surgery can be useful. Because this is a highly invasive procedure, patients usually have to stay overnight at the hospital. For the best outcome, different treatments are combined. For example, antibiotics may be injected intravenously to help the body fight infection more effectively. In any case, your doctor will decide what the best course of action is, as each case must be assessed individually.
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